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Harb: Any Solution to Issue of Widespread Arms Possession Needs Follow up by Political Powers

Minister of Labor Butros Harb stressed Friday that any solution to the widespread possession of arms in Lebanon requires follow up by the political powers.

He told Future News that the political powers should support the ministerial committee that Cabinet formed in order to tackle the arms possession.

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Geagea: Borj Abi Haidar Clashes Part of Campaign to Target Hariri, Tribunal

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said the latest clashes between Hizbullah and al-Ahbash gunmen in Borj Abi Haidar were part of the organized campaign to weaken Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The clashes were also aimed at targeting the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the logic of justice, Geagea told al-Liwaa daily in remarks published Friday.

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Mirza Hasn't Yet Received Hizbullah's Answer on Bellemare's Request

General Prosecutor Said Mirza hasn't yet received any answer from Hizbullah official Wafiq Safa on Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare's request to provide the remaining material to which the Hizbullah chief referred to in his press conference on August 9.

An Nahar daily said Friday that Mirza would make the announcement in a statement upon receiving Hizbullah's answer.

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Suleiman in Shouf on Friday, Jumblat Visits Beiteddine Saturday to Stress Coexistence

President Michel Suleiman is scheduled on Friday to visit the Shouf Cedar nature reserve and later make a family visit to Mukhtara and stay for dinner at Druze leader Walid Jumblat's residence.

Jumblat, in return, would visit Suleiman at this summer presidential palace in Beiteddine on Saturday. An Nahar daily said that the Progressive Socialist Party leader asked current and former MPs in the Mountains to accompany him.

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Sources: Hariri to Visit Damascus Soon But Not on Monday

Sources close to Prime Minister Saad Hariri have denied media reports that the Mustaqbal movement leader would visit Damascus on Monday and meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad during an Iftar.

The sources told al-Liwaa newspaper in remarks published Friday that Hariri's visit to Damascus would take place soon but no date has been set yet for the trip.

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Sarkozy: Unacceptable for Lebanon to Drown in Cycle of Violence

French President Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated support for Lebanon's independence and sovereignty and said it was "unacceptable for Lebanon to drown again in the cycle of violence."

In his opening of the 18th conference of French ambassadors at the Elysee palace on Wednesday, Sarkozy also reiterated support for President Michel Suleiman and Premier Saad Hariri.

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Jumblat: State is Final Shelter in Protecting National Unity, Resistance, Calls for Maintaining Balanced Rhetoric

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted Thursday that, regardless if the Borj Abi Haidar clash was an individual incident or not, "the state remains the final shelter for protecting national unity and the Resistance … based on the equation of the people, army, and Resistance."

He said in a statement a commitment should be made towards this equation as a general principle, "which means carrying out a serious investigation in the recent unrest on the basis of affirming peace and stability and preventing security disorder."

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Hariri Inspects Hizbullah-Ahbash Clash Scenes

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday inspected the neighborhoods that witnessed clashes between Hizbullah and al-Ahbash gunmen in Borj Abi Haidar, Mazraa and Basta.

Hariri was accompanied by Secretary-General of the Higher Defense Council Brig. Gen. Adnan Merheb.

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Geagea: Authorities Would Be Surrendering to Armed Groups if they Don't Arrest Borj Abi Haidar Culprits

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said on Wednesday that authorities would be giving up their role for armed parties if they don't arrest the suspects involved in clashes between Hizbullah and al-Ahbash earlier in the week.

"Judicial and security authorities should take necessary measures to arrest the gunmen who took part in the incidents no matter to which side they belong to," Geagea said. "Or else these authorities would be giving up their role for armed groups that appeared on Beirut streets."

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Suleiman Holds Talks with Baroud on Progress of Investigations in Borj Abi Haidar Clashes

President Michel Suleiman and Interior Minister Ziad Baroud held talks on Thursday on the progress of the investigation in the recent clashes at Borj Abi Haidar and the Interior Ministry's measures to prevent similar incidents from erupting once again.

The President also held separate talks with Minister of State Adnan al-Kassar on local political and economic developments and later with former MPs Mosbah al-Ahdab and Farid al-Khazen on current internal affairs.

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